Clariana – Bellprat
March 17 – 18
Plane, bus, train and taxi….. and then walk
Left Liverpool in the early morning on my ‘favourite’ airline to arrive in Barcelona, caught the cheap airport bus into the centre of the city. The Barcelona marathon was just finishing so the place was packed with athletes in various stages of recuperation, clutching water bottles. No time for sight seeing as I disappeared underground to catch a train to the nearby town of Igualada. This is where I had planned to start an eight day trip along the GR7, 150K. For reasons of transport and accommodation availability I was walking back south to Tivissa, my last stage – see previous posts October 2012.
So my first night was in Igualada a town built on the leather industry. This is where your luxury handbags originate, as well as your Buff headgear!
Enjoyed the semi luxury of a four-star hotel …
…. and ordered a taxi [20 Euro] for the next morning to get me to the start of my walk at a diminutive hamlet called Clariana. Straight away found a GR7 signpost and set off in high spirits.
For navigation I had maps from the latest edition of the Federacio de Catalunya for the GR7. So following these I disregarded the red and white way-marks down the road and soon found myself confronted with definite no passage signs as opposed to the common no hunting signs.
I’ve only been back on route this year 10 minutes and have forgotten the golden rule – always follow the red and white markers of the GR7 no matter what your intuition or inaccurate map tells you!! So back down the road for half a kilometre and sure enough there was a sign off to the right for the GR7. Who’s to say why this differs from my map! Now on tracks through the fields and the sun was getting warm. Buzzards flying above. After a further navigational error [NW instead of SW!] I managed to get myself onto the minor road leading to Bellprat. Passed the turning to the small hamlet of Fillol, decided there would not be much in that place. Now there were great views back to Montserrat above Barcelona and to the east end of the snow-covered Pyrenees.
Walked on to the hamlet of Bellprat where nothing stirred.
From the road here I managed to hitch a lift into the larger town of Santa Coloma de Queralt. The hotel here had closed down. Just missed the 13.45 bus back to Igualada so passed some time in the interesting old town, mainly drinking coffee in the square.
Hake and black spaghetti.Caught the 15.30 bus back to Igualada. I was glad of an easy 14k first day and a good night’s meal and rest in the hotel.